Outstaffing vs. Outsourcing: What’s the difference?​

Outsourcing vs. Outstaffing: two Models for the Externalisation of IT Development

The software industry is growing. While the industry’s turnover in Germany in 2010 was 15.6 billion euros, it is expected to almost have doubled to 27.6 billion euros by the end of 20201. The IT market is looking for skilled experts. The search for employees for the IT department who are well trained and at the same time affordable and fit in with the company is causing increasing headaches for HR staff. A rising number of companies of all sizes are outsourcing the development of the solutions they need. Different business models deal with delegating the development of software solutions from one company to another. Outsourcing and outstaffing are two different concepts to consider when deciding to outsource IT development.

by Feras Tanan

Head of Outstaffing at L-One Systems Feras Tanan with team members
Feras Tanan, head of the Outstaffing Team since 2018, holds IT degrees from both Damascus and Darmstadt Universities. He has been living in Darmstadt since 2015, from where he looks after the L-One employees in Damascus.

Outsourcing

When outsourcing software development, a company hires another company to carry out a project from A to Z. The client is not involved in the development process. He neither leads the development team nor does he supervise the development process or solve technical difficulties if they occur. This approach is best suited to non-technical companies without in-house know-how. The finished solution is purchased.
If required, the company can set up an operational interface to the outsourcing provider with an IT project manager and receive regular updates.

»The entire management of hiring, leading and training the remote development team is the responsibility of the the service provider for outsourcing as well as outstaffing.«

Lionel Born, Founder and CEO of L-One Systems

Before starting an IT project, the arguments for or against outsourcing and outstaffing should be considered. This consideration can make a decisive contribution to the success of the project.

Pro Outsourcing

    • no management efforts for recruitment, administration, training, or further HR activities are required by the client
    • no technical supervision by the contractor required
    • use of the latest technology during development is guaranteed, as the outsourcing provider is a specialized IT company

Contra Outsourcing

    • no direct control over the development team and development process
    • no development of in-house know-how for software solutions
    • higher costs for the client are incurred for outsourcing in comparison to outstaffing

Outstaffing

In outstaffing, a company expands its internal development team with the development services of an outstaffing provider. The client concludes a contract with the outstaffing service provider for the provision of remote developers. As with outsourcing, with outstaffing, the client does not have to employ its own staff. The outstaffing service provider takes over the human resource management. The selection and management of the remote developers and the time frame, on the other hand, are technically managed by the client and the remote team is available to him within the agreed time frame. The client is responsible for structuring the development process and distributing tasks to the remote developers.

Outstaffing Process Graphic @L-One Systems
With outstaffing, the client’s In-House developers connect to the development team of the outstaffing provider ensuring a close cooperation

Companies are increasingly working with outstaffing teams instead of hiring their own developers. On the one hand, outsourcing the time-consuming organizational management for the additional developers relieves the company’s own HR management. This eliminates hiring procedures, induction, training, payroll, accounting, ensuring employee satisfaction – and last but not least, fixed costs. 

On the other hand, the outstaffing process means that highly qualified, yet affordable developers are available very quickly. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Outstaffing

Serious outstaffing service providers offer access to a large pool of certified developers with a wide range of specialist areas (IT stacks).

Head of Outstaffing bei L-One Systems Feras Tanan
The L-One outstaffing team in Darmstadt consists of IT developers who quickly provide qualified developers from the offshore team.

Pro Outstaffing

    • no management efforts for recruitment, administration, training, or other HR activities are required by the client
    • no technical supervision by the contractor required
    • Use of the latest technology during development is guaranteed since the outsourcing provider is a specialized IT company

Contra Outstaffing

    • Additional effort for setting up a development process followed by both the internal and the external development team and interlinking both in a productive way.

Outsourcing und Outstaffing at L-One

For our customers, we want to align the outstaffing experience with the processes of their internal developers. We use the same set of tools for communication between our clients and their internal developers, including Slack, Microsoft Teams (including the various Microsoft 365 applications), Trello, JIRA, Bitbucket, as well as a wide range of collaboration software that facilitates collaboration between different sites.

Some of our customers refer to the L-One Outstaffing team as our “employees”. We are happy about that. That is our goal.
Valerie Dietsche, Customer Relationship Manager at L-One Systems, Darmstadt

Outsourcing and outstaffing projects usually involve the employment of teams working remotely. The outstaffing provider must secure the quality of the service delivered, always ensuring maximal  productivity. We at L-One System are aware of this and therefore call our outsourcing/outstaffing services “made in Germany”. For this reason, data protection, reliability, availability, and communication skills are key concepts, that our dedicated offshore team always implement. Our guideline and protocol structure assures  the implementation of these concepts.

To find out which of the two options, outsourcing, outstaffing, or a mixture of the two is right for you, we recommend that you arrange a meeting with one of our experts to find out what is best for you. Find out more about our services here.

Sources & Links

1= Software Sales in Germany 2007 to 2020:
Statista (in GER)
Contact us: Are you planning an IT project and you are looking for reinforcement?
How we work: Take a look at our case studies …

Natural Language Processing

Natural LAnguage Processing Team @ L-One Systems

What is Natural Language Processing - other than a language assistant addressing me?

Natural language processing (NLP) is often mentioned together with one related buzz word and one brand name which have their overlaps but cannot be used as synonyms. The related buzz word is “AI” (Artificial Intelligence), often used when people talk about “Machine Learning”. Machine Learning is a statistical approach to “learn” patterns based on so-called training data. It is true that statistical approaches are widely used in NLP, yet it is not its only mainstay.

by Sarah Holschneider

Voice Assistants are popular KI devices and need to handle Natural Language Processing
Voice assistants are pupular AI devices and have to understand the meaning of orders via Natural Language Processing.

Brand names, jump out at us when we think of “language” and “computer”: “Alexa”, “Google home” or “Siri” – all language wizards use NLP. But the rapidly growing field of applications for Natural Language processes can do much more.

As an intersection between linguistics and computer science, Natural Language Processing investigates the interaction between computers and natural languages, i.e. human languages as opposed to programming languages.

Since the late 1980s and mid-1990s, much natural language processing research has relied heavily on machine learning (which might be the reason why so many people only see that aspect). Machine Learning algorithms are able to learn rules automatically through the analysis of large corpora (huge collections of texts) of typical examples.


What looks like an easy way to automize and solve text-related issues at first sight, might need many pre-processing steps by people with a certain level of linguistic knowledge. In some cases, native speakers can already help (sufficient motivation provided). In other cases you need a deeper knowledge of linguistic dependencies and computational linguists.

Systems based on machine-learning algorithms have many advantages over manually written rules. They offer possibilities of automatic learning and, as they focus on the most common cases, they do not get entangled in exceptions. However, in order to let statistics do its magic, you need a sufficiently big data set. Rule-based systems are often less scalable but can close the gap if you must work with small amounts of data.

Sarah Holschneider has been working on the development of NLP solutions for L-One Systems for three years, since March 2020 as head of the NLP department.

Depending on your case, a rule-based system might work better if you have a fixed set of cases which need to be solved. Imagine you want to translate boilerplate text on a PowerPoint template that your company is using. A simple string.replace() might do the trick and investing in a statistical approach for machine translation might be way more time as well as cost-intensive.

»Defining your specific use case as specific as possible is more than half the battle.«

You realize, some of these use cases already sound like grammar class. Therefore we include linguists during the whole development of NLP-related projects at L-One Systems. As you would not code a calculator without knowing about algebra, you should not code NLP-applications without a deep understanding of language.

Case Study: Robot Interface

Robot path planning and simulation platform L-One systems and Easyrob

How to make a robot listen to you

For this project L-One partnered with EASY-ROB Software GmbH near Frankfurt. The mission lies in the field of computer graphics and simulation. The task: to develop an open CAD-based robot path planning and simulation platform on top of the existing robotics kernel. The solution: The development of an open CAD-based robot offline programming system. As a partner of EASY-ROB Software GmbH the L-One team developed a CAD based platform for planning, simulation and programming of robot cells.

What we developed
The platform we developed works as a human-robot interface (HRI). It offers friendly interaction in an intuitive way, so that in few minutes with basic information, any user can generate a robot program from a CAD model and visualize, check and optimize the movement graphically.

CAD models load to define a task, extracting CAD information to generate a path, and checking the reachability of the manipulator. On top, we built a scalable, maintainable, and reusable object-orientated programming structure (OOP structure) for the platform.

»With the manpower of L-One we are able to pursue and realize new development goals.«

Stefan Anton, Managing Director, EASY-ROB Software GmbH

Challenges 
Situation before we entered the project: The customer used a standalone product that was used with an OpenGL library as visualization tool, without the ability to generate a robot path from CAD models. 

The goals we wanted to achieve:

    • Enable the user to design a complete robot simulation scenario.
    • Use of the open Open CASCADE graphics kernel (OCCT) as visualization tool.
    • Connect the OCCT libraries smoothly with the EASY-ROB robotics kernel.

Difficulties to cope with:

    • Adopting the very recent OCCT technology by using the most suitable packages for our use case.
    • The uniqueness of the project requires studying many theoretical concepts before implementation.
Enabling the user to design a complete robot simulation scenario based on the OpenCASCADE technology (OCCT)

How our solution helped
The platform allows the robot’s graphic representation as well as its additional and necessary equipment. Automatic extraction of the robot program from a CAD model and simulation of the program in the virtual environment can take place before mapping on a real system.

»High motivation, new ideas and a lot of enthusiasm enable us to progress successively and thus ensure the success of the project.«

Stefan Anton, Managing Director, EASY-ROB Software GmbH

Results, Future Plans
It is now possible to visualize scenes and fully integrate the robotics kernel in the virtual environment. The further development of OCCT libraries benefits from the results of this project. The next step could be to build standalone projects that support different graphic tasks in controlling and programming robots.

Five main Outstaffing Benefits

Meeting with customer, 5 reasons for outstaffing @ L-One Systems

Why IT Projects profit from Outstaffing

In Damascus L-One Systems runs an offshore team with highly qualified software developers. We offer affordable software development power, managed by our team in Darmstadt. For our clients, we provide a transparent and trustworthy service and take over full responsibility for the availability and management of the staff for the projects entrusted to us.

Additionally, we ensure a smooth and continuous development of the outstaffing team: Our dedicated offshore HR management conducts monthly feedbacks with you and with the developers and adjusts plans for further training accordingly. 

Feras Tanan our head of Outstaffing with members of the programmer team in the Damascus location

Reducing fixed costs and a a plus in flexibility are major advantages of outstaffing software development. L-One brings 10 years of experience in connecting teams for programming cutting edge software. At a glimpse, how digitalization projects benefit from outstaffing:

    1. Flexible IT development resources compared to permanent employment of IT experts and a rapid recruitment process.
    2. Tangible contact with the headquarter in Darmstadt.
    3. A well trained remote team adapting to your working culture: the offshore developers become part of your team.
    4. L-One consists of IT experts and keeps always up to date with the latest developments in the digital sector.
    5. Benefit from significant savings in time and cost spendings.
Did you hire software developers in Germany already? Or tried finding the person with the right skills and character to fit your team? The very good developers everyone is looking for are increasingly difficult to find at the German labor market.

»The outstaffing at L-One Systems guarantees you dedicated developers who become part of your on-site team and adopt your working culture. This ensures both, long-term success and an opportunity of sustainable growth of your business.«

Feras Tanan, Head of Outstaffing at L-One
Look into booking your development power through us. We provide the candidates you are looking for and take over full responsibility for the availability of the staff for your project.

Further information
• Why work with us: Our Services
• The team: Take a look at us
Contact us to discuss your upcoming IT project.